Gov. Snyder activates State Emergency Operations Center as reports of storm damage continue to increase
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder has activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center to closely monitor and share information as increasing reports of storm damage and power outages across the state are becoming available from local communities and utilities.
“As Michiganders are struggling with storm damage and power outages from some of the extreme winds that are blowing through the state, our first priority is the safety and security of residents,” Snyder said. “Utility companies have been spending much of the afternoon just trying to get a handle on how many lines are down and how best to restore power as quickly as possible.”
Current reports indicate that approximately 650,000 electric customers have lost power to homes and businesses across Michigan. While weather services are predicting that the winds will diminish to approximately 30 mph overnight and drop to 15 mph during the day tomorrow, they also are predicting colder temperatures settling in statewide.
“We will be proactively coordinating our state departments and agencies with the utility companies to continuously assess the number of people without electricity and how long it will be until power is restored,” Snyder said. “We also will be coordinating with local communities to see if they have additional needs to help their residents as the temperatures go down.”
The Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan Agency for Energy have been in regular contact with the utility companies since yesterday when the first storm damages started to occur in the Upper Peninsula. Utility companies have called for additional workers from throughout the region who will be arriving to assist with power restoration.
The Michigan State Police is monitoring the situation closely and collecting damage reports at the operations center in Lansing, while troopers statewide are working to keep residents safe from harm and assist anyone who has encountered a hazard.
“I appreciate the hard work of our first responders who are helping residents to be safe during these conditions. I also thank the utility company workers for their tireless efforts to restore power throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsulas since yesterday,” Snyder said. “Residents need to stay safe as cleanup from this storm is underway and check in on family, friends and neighbors who might need a helping hand. Together, we can recover more quickly as this storm subsides overnight.”
The Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan Agency on Energy urge utility customers to exercise caution when using supplemental home heating sources or portable generators. It also is extremely important to treat all downed power lines as “live,” and assume they still have electricity flowing through them. That means residents should stay clear and call 9-1-1 to report the downed line.